More than almost anything else, globalization and the great world religions are shaping our lives, affecting everything from the public policies of political leaders and the economic decisions of industry bosses and employees, to university curricula, all the way to the inner longings of our hearts. Read more...
More than almost anything else, globalization and the great world religions are shaping our lives, affecting everything from the public policies of political leaders and the economic decisions of industry bosses and employees, to university curricula, all the way to the inner longings of our hearts. Integral to both globalization and religions are compelling, overlapping, and sometimes competing visions of what it means to live well.
In this perceptive, deeply personal, and beautifully written book, a leading theologian sheds light on how religions and globalization have historically interacted and argues for what their relationship ought to be. Recounting how these twinned forces have intersected in his own life, he shows how world religions, despite their malfunctions, remain one of our most potent sources of moral motivation and contain within them profoundly evocative accounts of human flourishing. Globalization should be judged by how well it serves us for living out our authentic humanity as envisioned within these traditions. Through renewal and reform, religions might, in turn, shape globalization so that can be about more than bread alone.
- ISBN-13: 9780300186536
- ISBN-10: 0300186533
- Publisher: Yale University Press
- Publish Date: January 2016
- Page Count: 304
- Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-12-14
- Reviewer: Staff
Yale University theologian Volf (A Public Faith) brilliantly weaves several strands of argument into an ambitious brief for the positive functions of religion in today's global village, where the negative consequences of religion are too often written in the blood of innocents. Volf lays out his argument systematically, first establishing globalization as an economic reality. Religion, he next proposes, is thriving globally, and that force can provide an alternative to a purely material, ultimately unsatisfying model of human flourishing. Religions have an unfortunate track record of killing people in God's name, Volf concedes. He then considers religious exclusivism, usually understood as the reason for violence, and describes a way that competing religious truth claims and political pluralism can coexist. A quarter of his carefully nuanced argument falls within the book's extensive endnotes, which may be good for the academy but require the reader to patiently flip back and forth. His formidably grounded scope is wide, drawing from current affairs, comparative religions, and Christian theology. Most bracing is his epilogue, which draws simple conclusions about religion and human thriving: "Attachment to God amplifies and deepens enjoyment of the world." (Jan.)